CNHP ecologist Denise Culver found a new occurrence of sageleaf willow (Salix candida) while working near the Canadian River in North Park this summer. This is the first record of the species in Jackson County, Colorado.
This willow is fairly common in more northern (boreal) latitudes of North America, but is also found in rare isolated populations in Colorado, Wyoming, and South Dakota. In these areas, the species has remained as a relict from the previous glaciation, when what is now typical boreal vegetation was found much further south on the continent. Throughout its range, Salix candida is typically associated with fens, bogs, marshes, and other areas of permanently saturated soils where peat is present. Although globally secure (G5 rank), the species is considered imperiled (S2 rank) in Colorado. Sageleaf willow is also considered a sensitive species for the U.S. Forest Service in the Rocky Mountain Region.